Hydrobiologia

, Volume 216, Issue 1, pp 599–604 | Cite as

The senses of sea anemones: responses of the SS1 nerve net to chemical and mechanical stimuli

  • I. D. McFarlane
  • I. D. Lawn
Proceedings XII. Physiology and behaviour Sensory systems

Abstract

The ectodermal slow system (SS1) is one of 3 separate nerve nets in sea anemones. SS1 sensory responses coordinate swimming in Stomphia coccinea (escape response) and expansion to dissolved food substances in Urticina felina (pre-feeding response). Here we have studied Actinia equina, Anemonia viridis, and Anthopleura ballii. Although these anemones can escape from nudibranch predators, the SS1 response to attack by Aeolidia papillosa is probably evoked mechanically rather than chemically (cf. Stomphia). Multiple SS1 pulses to mechanical stimulation are described for the first time. Previous work has shown that in the pre-feeding response of Urticina the SS1 is excited by betaine; in Actinia however, the excitant is proline. The anemones studied can utilize the SS1 in 2 different behavioural responses (escape and pre-feeding/feeding) because the different receptors involved respond at different frequencies (at around 0.6 Hz in escape and 0.2 Hz in pre-feeding).

Key words

sea anemones nerve net mechanoreception chemoreception 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Boothby, K. M. & I. D. McFarlane, 1986. Chemoreception in sea anemones: betaine stimulates the pre-feeding response in Urticina eques and U. felina. J. exp. Biol. 125: 385–389.Google Scholar
  2. Edmunds, M., G. W. Potts, R. C. Swinfen, & V. L. Waters, 1976. Defensive behaviour of sea anemones in response to predation by the opisthobranch mollusc Aeolidia papillosa (L.). J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 56: 65–83.Google Scholar
  3. Elliott, J., T. Dalby, R. Cohen & D. M. Ross, 1985. Behavioral interactions between the actinian Tealia piscivora (Anthozoa: Actiniaria) and the asteroid Dermasterias imbricata. Can. J. Zool. 63: 1921–1929.Google Scholar
  4. Lawn, I. D., 1976. Swimming in the sea anemone Stomphia coccinea triggered by a slow conduction system. Nature, Lond. 262: 708–709.Google Scholar
  5. Lawn, I. D. & D. M. Ross, 1982. The release of the pedal disk in an undescribed species of Tealia (Anthozoa: Actiniaria). Biol. Bull. 163: 188–196.Google Scholar
  6. McFarlane, I. D., 1969. Coordination of pedal-disc detachment in the sea anemone Calliactis parasitica. J. exp. Biol. 51: 387–396.Google Scholar
  7. McFarlane, I. D., 1970. Control of preparatory feeding behaviour in the sea anemone Tealia felina. J. exp. Biol. 53: 211–220.Google Scholar
  8. McFarlane, I. D., 1975. Control of mouth opening and pharynx protrusion during feeding in the sea anemone Calliactis parasitica. J. exp. Biol. 63: 615–626.Google Scholar
  9. McFarlane, I. D., 1976. Two slow conduction systems coordinate shell-climbing behaviour in the sea anemone Calliactis parasitica. J. exp. Biol. 64: 431–445.Google Scholar
  10. McFarlane, I. D., 1982. Calliactis parasifica. In G.A.B. Shelton (ed.) Electrical Conduction and Behaviour in ‘Simple’ Invertebrates. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 243–265.Google Scholar
  11. McFarlane, I. D. & I. D. Lawn, 1972. Expansion and contraction of the oral disk in the sea anemone Tealia felina. J. exp. Biol. 57: 633–649.Google Scholar
  12. Robson, E. A., 1961a. Some observations on the swimming behaviour of the anemone Stomphia coccinea. J. exp. Biol. 38: 343–363.Google Scholar
  13. Robson, E. A., 1961b. The swimming response and its pacemaker system in the anemone Stomphia coccinea. J. exp. Biol. 38: 685–694.Google Scholar
  14. Ross, D. M. & L. Sutton, 1964. Inhibition of the swimming response by food and of nematocyst discharge during swimming in the sea anemone Stomphia coccinea. J. exp. Biol. 41: 751–757.Google Scholar
  15. Sund, P. N., 1958. A study of the muscular anatomy and swimming behaviour of the sea anemone Stomphia coccinea. Q. Jl microsc. Sci. 99: 401–420.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. D. McFarlane
    • 1
  • I. D. Lawn
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied BiologyUniversity of HullHullUK
  2. 2.Heron Island Research StationThe University of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia

Personalised recommendations